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Old Apr 26, 2006, 9:27 AM   #1
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I have read so many recommendations about using a polarizing filter, especially when taking photos in daylight. So I ended up with buying one for my Canon Powershot S2IS.
I tried it out during my trip to Malaysia a few weeks ago, and was surprised to see that colors lost some intensity when using the filter.
I have attached two photos, one is with filter the other one is without. Note that I don't have any adapter yet, so I had to hold it in front of the lens.
The camera used an exposure time of 1/50s on the one with filter, and 1/200s on the one without. f-value is 3.5.

Do I have to perform some kind of post-processing to get the maximum out of the filter? Or do I have to change any settings on the camera before I take a shot with the filter?

Here is the photo taken without a filter.
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Old Apr 26, 2006, 9:28 AM   #2
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And this is the one taken with a polarizing filter
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Old Apr 26, 2006, 10:08 AM   #3
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There is no reason to use a polarizer for that shot, but it shouldn't come out so washed out. The polarizer is just acting as a neutral density filter and the camera metering should compensate for it. Both shots should look about the same.

You don't say what brand polarizer you bought. If it is a quality brand you shouldn't be having those problems. Any filter adds two air/glass surfaces to the photograph, and unless those are good quality it can cut your contrast some. But even a poor quality polarizer shouldn't cut your contrast that much.

A polarizing filter can filter polarized light from the sky to darken it and provide better cloud contrast. It can also cut reflections that are polarized. You can also use it as a neutral density filter to slow your shutter speed for blurring motion etc. It can only have a positive effect under certain circumstances and isn't something that should be left on the camera for all daylight photos. I see no reason to have used a polarizer for the photos you posted.

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Old Apr 27, 2006, 4:07 PM   #4
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Looks like a lot of zoom was used in these images. Looks to me like atmospheric haze or dust has washed out the images. Could this be so?

A POL filter can help with this a bit - if rotated appropriately. A POL filter is a nice accessory, but I wouldn't use one all the time. For a start, rotating the filter to get the POL effect is a pain and greatly slows down the shooting process. It's usefull if you want to cut down reflected glare from windows, dust etc. If you want rich colors, setting the camera to Vivid is simpler (I prefer to post-process the image on a PC to enhance contrast/saturation/brightness etc).

You can post-process by adjusting the brightness and contrast using picassa, gimp, or similar.
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